Southwestern Historical Quarterly
few stoves at Ford.22 A prisoner captured on April 8, 1864, after-
wards wrote of Ford:
We made a table of clapboards, and our service of plate and china
was not extensive. I made myself a wooden spoon, and with this, and
my pocket knife, and my fingers, I got along. I was peculiarly fortu-
nate in getting hold of a small empty tomato can, and with this, I made
a small plate, and left enough for another plate, and then we were
just so much better off than some others in our mess.28
Fortunately when the group of prisoners longest in captivity
left for exchange in early July, 1864, the members gave their
"cooking utensils to the most needy prisoners."24
If a prisoner had money or negotiable objects, then his diet and
other essentials might be improved, for "the Texans ... were great
traders," and a number of goods were available. Beginning in
1864 local farmers were permitted to bring produce to sell or
trade.25 A man who came in with corn meal one day "sold out in
a very short time at a dollar a pint, in greenbacks. The same day
our mess bought twenty pounds of flour at a dollar a pound."26
A prisoner who sold his watch to the sutler in early May, 1865,
"for $15.00 in specie" took the money "up to town" and obtained
"56 lbs of Bacon, 50 lbs of flour, 21/2 dozen eggs and a bushell of
Camp sutlers were another source of food. During part of
1864 two stores at least were maintained at Camp Ford. Appar-
ently they were managed by enterprising officers of the 42nd
Massachusetts. When they departed for exchange, one of the shops
came under control of H. J. Durgin, chief bugler, 2nd New
Hampshire Cavalry. Durgin's establishment included a bakery
22Bering and Montgomery, Forty-eighth Ohio, 166; Nott, Sketches in Prison
Camps, 150o. That stoves were at Camp Ford is inferred from Colonel Nott's
mention of them and especially of one that this mess took from Camp Groce to
Ford in December, 1863. Ibid., 135, 187, 138, 139, 143, 145-
28McCulloch, Reminiscences, in Baker, Camp Ford, 88.
24Bering and Montgomery, Forty-eighth Ohio, 161.
25McCulloch, Reminiscences, in Baker, Camp Ford, 89; Bering and Montgomery,
Forty-eighth Ohio, 167; Bringhurst and Swigart, Forty-sixth Indiana, 129; Baker,
Camp Ford, 13.
28McCulloch, Reminiscences, in ibid., 88.
27Gilligan Diary, May 4, 1865.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101196/. Accessed January 28, 2015.